Martha McCallum’s exclusive interview with Attorney General William Barr, the first part of which was broadcast Thursday, contained at least two bombshell revelations that will reverberate as the implications sink in and as the wheels of justice slowly grind. (The full part one is embedded at the bottom of this post.)
The New York Times picked up on the first bombshell in this story, whose sub-headline captures the essence:
The federal prosecutor investigating the origins of the Russia inquiry is examining testimony by the former C.I.A. director John Brennan and seeking his communications records.
The story, which acknowledges Barr’s interview, cites “a person briefed on his [Durham’s] inquiry,” which could in fact be Barr himself.
John H. Durham, the United States attorney leading the investigation, has requested Mr. Brennan’s emails, call logs and other documents from the C.I.A., according to a person briefed on his inquiry. He wants to learn what Mr. Brennan told other officials, including the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, about his and the C.I.A.’s views of a notorious dossier of assertions about Russia and Trump associates.
Mr. Durham’s pursuit of Mr. Brennan’s records is certain to add to accusations that Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies. The president has long attacked Mr. Brennan as part of his narrative about a so-called deep state cabal of Obama administration officials who tried to sabotage his campaign, and Mr. Trump has held out Mr. Durham’s investigation as a potential avenue for proving those claims.
Mr. Durham is also examining whether Mr. Brennan privately contradicted his public comments, including May 2017 testimony to Congress, about both the dossier and about any debate among the intelligence agencies over their conclusions on Russia’s interference, the people said.
Sundance of The Conservative Tree House identifies what he believes are the specifics of possible perjury by Brennan:
U.S. Attorney John Durham appears to be looking for a very specific email written by John Brennan to James Comey. Because Comey wrote another email saying: ..”Brennan is insisting the Crown Material be included in the intel assessment.” (snip)
The Christopher Steele dossier was called “Crown Material” by FBI agents within the small group during their 2016 political surveillance operation. The “Crown” description reflects the unofficial British intelligence aspect to the dossier as provided by Steele.
In May 2019 former House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy stated there are emails from former FBI Director James Comey that outline instructions from CIA Director John Brennan to include the “Crown Material” within the highly political Intelligence Community Assessment. (snip)
However, on May 23rd, 2017, in testimony -under oath- to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) John Brennan stated [@01:54:28]:
GOWDY: Director Brennan, do you know who commissioned the Steele dossier?
BRENNAN: I don’t.
GOWDY: Do you know if the bureau [FBI] ever relied on the Steele dossier as part of any court filing, applications?
BRENNAN: I have no awareness.
GOWDY: Did the CIA rely on it?
GOWDY: Why not?
BRENNAN: Because we didn’t. It wasn’t part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had. It was not in any way used as a basis for the Intelligence Community Assessment that was done. Uh … it was not.
If Durham can find a communication from Brennan making the demand Comey refers to, it looks to my non-lawyer eyes like perjury.
Of course, we’re talking about the CIA, so cynics might believe that the incriminating documents (if any) would disappear. However, my guess is that a complete expunging of all the digital fingerprints would be difficult enough as to require the efforts of several people, including comparatively low level technical and clerical staff. If they cooperate in a coverup, they would find themselves liable for multi-year prison terms.
If Brennan were to face compelling evidence of perjury, Durham would be able to squeeze him to implicate higher ups. In the case of Brennan, there are only 2 people above him: Former DNI James Clapper and former President Barack Hussein Obama.
Does Brennan look like a standup guy who would take the heat all by his lonely self?
Bonus question: If he ends up in the federal pen, would Brennan indicate any particular dietary needs?
Here is the entire interview bradcast yesterday: